Cleveland Museum of Art Gets $10M for Audience Diversification

Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art

An anonymous donor has given US$10 million to the Cleveland Museum of Art, a majority of which will be used in efforts to broaden audience demographics and foster a more inclusive reputation for the institution. According to a reports in Art Daily and the Plain Dealer, a portion of the gift was also used to fund the purchase of 95 Deccan and Mughal paintings purchased from the collection of Catherine Glynn Benkaim and her late husband Ralph Benkaim. The gift follows a US$320 million extension to the museum but will be used mostly outside the institution’s walls, according to interim director Fred Bidwell. Speaking to the Plain Dealer, he says:

“We’ve scratched our heads over why the bulk of our visitors are middle-aged [white] females[…]The answer is that just being open and welcoming isn’t enough. You have to get out to the community and let them know they’re welcome and tell them why they should care, or more properly ask them what they should care about and how we fit with that.”

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